Avoid Loss of Domain Names
 due to "Frontrunning"


a thief in the night



USE CAUTION when acquiring Your Domain Name

        Once you come up with a catchy Domain Name(s), you may want to open an account with a registry service and submit your DN for registration:  if a quick search determines it is available, you can register it immediately, so congratulations.  
        HOWEVER, things get more complicated if you want to determine availability but you DELAY REGISTRATION to give it some more thought.  While you are thinking, your DN may be getting stolen.
        It is well known that since the beginning of the internet, the problem of domain name "FRONT-RUNNING" has existed, and may be a potential threat to you being able to register your DN.  The problem occurs if you use some compromised registry or other "whois" services to determine if the name is availableUnless you register immediately once the registrar confirms its availability, hackers may have time to intercept your DN search, and buy "your" DN cheaply to hold for ransom.  
        But if you DO want to take your time, there is a safe way to determine its availability: use a pristine pure link directly to the official internic Whois database  (once there, just enter the basic name and extension, such as:  whatever.com).  This locks out any middlemen from peeking. More discussion and solutions can be found HERE.  Even so, it's best not to wait longer than necessary -- and not share your new DN even with a friend who might quite innocently check it out on the internet.
        If you're feeling lazy, you COULD just google the proposed website, in quotes:  "whatever.com"  (use the quote marks):  there may be lots of false negatives (ie, actual websites may not show up), but lots will.  It's doubtful even hackers have the resources to cull out such searches, from all the other millions of searches per minute.

        BTW, as long as we're talking about this, ANOTHER threat to getting and keeping your favorite DN can occur AFTER you acquire it:  it only happens if your name violates trademarks.  E.g., don't name it (e.g.) "HomeDepotCoupons.com" or "iPhoneHelp.com", because once you start using it, you will get a Cease and Desist letter from HomeDepot / Apple lawyers requiring you to delete or transfer the DN back to the TM owners:  you are unlikely to be fined if you comply.
        On rare occasions, a company will attempt to steal your  very valid DN by making a spurious claim of Trademark violation against you:  this is called " Reverse Domain Name Hijacking", which you can look up on GoogleBing:  usually only happens when a name is valuable, in which case they have the resources to intimidate a DN holder.  
 


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